Flames from the fire which started in Odemira in August came dangerously close to the town of Odeceixe (Photo: CM Aljezur)

Government aid announced for beekeepers affected by wildfire

€25,000 made available for beekeepers

Portugal’s government announced on Monday that it has created an extraordinary support fund of €25,000 for beekeepers affected by the fires that occurred in May and August this year in the municipalities of Aljezur, Monchique, and Odemira.

In a statement, the office of the minister of agriculture and food, Maria do Céu Antunes, said that the normative order that provides for the creation of this aid, signed by the minister, was published today.

The support, she emphasised, will be “awarded to beekeepers whose hives were directly or indirectly affected by the fires that broke out in May and the first few days of August this year in the municipalities of Aljezur, Monchique and Odemira”.

Referring to the damage caused by the fires, the ministry pointed out that in addition to cattle, sheep and goats, which “were affected by the destruction of pastures used for their food”, bees were also affected.

The fires “also jeopardised the feeding of bees on bee farms whose hives are located close to the burnt areas, depriving the bees of the natural food that these areas provided,” it said.

According to the ministry, beekeepers must apply for support, within a maximum of 30 working days of the date of publication of this order, to the Regional Directorate of Agriculture (DRAP) and Fisheries with territorial jurisdiction, accompanied by a damage declaration form and a stock declaration.

Approval of the aid “depends on administrative verification, and payment is preceded by an on-the-spot check of the damage suffered by the DRAP,” he added.

On August 25, the minister for agriculture and food announced unitary support of €8,400 for farmers and livestock producers in Odemira and €5,400 for those in Aljezur.

The fire in August started in the municipality of Odemira (Beja) and then entered the Algarve municipalities of Monchique and Aljezur and burnt around 8,400 hectares, with a perimeter of 50 kilometres.

Source: LUSA